Too often we focus on a diet mentality and restricting whole food groups to “lose weight” which often consists of losing eassential nutrients, water and vitamins. It’s much more important to enjoy food, exercise and feel healthy through a sustainable transformation.
So, if you do need to get rid of excess body fat, “tone up,” it’s about losing fat and building muscle, rather than crash dieting which studies show leads to a slower metabolism, muscle loss, eventual weight regain which makes it harder to shift the fat in the future.
Instead make sure you’re eating a slight calorie deficit and following the right exercise programme.
As each body type is different, you can estimate your calorie deficit which is: Your body weight in pounds x by 12 = a basic calorie deficit for your body weight as a starting point.
Resistance training is best for losing fat and building muscle because the greater your muscle mass, the faster your metabolism functions at resting. You can build muscle in certain areas but fat will come off where it wants to depending on your body type. Be wary of people who offer fat burning workouts or just lots of high intensity cardio.
If you want to get that ‘toned’ look, all it actually is, is eating a calorie deficit or upping your calories to meet your necessary needs and building in three resistance workouts a week plus regular walks.
This is why getting enough rest and sleep is not only a pillarstone to our overall wellbeing to help us achieve peak performance in mind and body, but it can stave off cravings, reduce stress and boost our energy to exercise, in turn contributing to fat loss and most of all feeling strong in our mind and body.
Absolute novice? Start small with healthy swaps such as adding more protein and vegetables into your diet, drink two litres of water daily, be mindful of adding sugar or fat to food and drink, eat off smaller plates to reduce portion size and snack on fresh produce.
If you are eating processed food, check the sugar content, calories and additional ingredients.’
Where possible, consume earth grown colourful food and plenty of protein which helps to fill you up and refuel your body.
Keeping an honest food and mood diary can really help you track your intake as well as helping you to become more conscious of what you’re thinking, feeling, and consuming. Move more by swapping a sedentary activity for something movement based, even if it is tricep dips and incline push-ups on the sofa whilst watching TV or walking to the shops instead of driving.
Once you’ve adopted the basics and tracked your progress so you have a clearer picture of your habits, you may begin to plateau which is totally normal and then you know it’s time to focus on specific areas of your health that you’re struggling with and set goals in that area either with the support and accountability of a specialist such as a nutritionist, personal trainer or psychologist.